Gardening after fire
More grows in a garden than a gardener sows
Making a small start on rebuilding a garden lost to bushfire can be an important first step in the recovery process. Think big, but start small. Even if it’s just a few pots with colourful flowers by the front door, every time you see it, it will restore you and you will be ready to take on bigger challenges.
The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, and SA Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Boards intended to fund a series of workshops to provide support and a way forward for many Adelaide Hills residents whose gardens were damaged or lost in the recent fires. ABC Gardening Australia presenter Sophie Thomson hosted one workshop late February 2020, but COVID-19 turned up and workshops have been replaced by something to enable everyone to learn from the comfort of their own home.
So have a read of Sophie’s blog piece as she shares five simple steps you can take to rebuild your garden or sit back and explore how to rebuild your garden through this video series.
Getting into your garden is good for you!
Gardening for health and wellbeing Why gardening is an important part of the recovery process and the benefits it provides in the areas of exercise, relaxation, health and nutrition.
How did fire affect your garden?What you need to think about when assessing how fire affected your garden e.g. what was available to burn and what direction the fire came from. As Sophie says, “Knowing how the fire affected your property will help you have a greater understanding of how your garden will recover.”
The effect of fire and ash on soilHow to assess the impacts of fire and ash on your soil and how to build healthy soil for your garden.
The effect of fire on woody plantsGreat tips on how to assess whether burnt fruit trees are still viable and what to do if they’re not.
What to consider when rebuilding a gardenAre you ready to start planting? Find out tips such as making a list of what you want from your garden, when to plant and where to put watering zones to help keep your house cool.
Live Q&A events
To go with the video series, two Facebook live Q&A events were held to give people an opportunity to ask further questions. You can watch the recordings of these here:
- Reducing fire risk in gardens (Botanic Gardens of SA) – planning and designing gardens to minimise vulnerability and strengthen resistance to fire
- Bushfire garden recovery; rebuilding after the fire – Sophie Thomson
- Native habitat gardening (Adelaide Hills Council) – create a healthy, attractive garden using native plants that thrive in our local conditions
- Environmental weeds of Adelaide and the Mount Lofty Ranges brochure
- More gardening information can be found here
Home garden support groups
After the Cudlee Creek bushfire, two new community groups (Adelaide Hills Garden Revival and Cudlee Creek Fire Garden Recovery) kicked off and are working together to support garden recovery across the Adelaide Hills.
Anyone directly affected can register with them.
If you'd like to support garden recovery through growing plants or donating time or other resources you can join their Facebook groups:
Cudlee Creek Fire Garden Recovery
For those outside the Cudlee Creek fire area, there is a state-wide garden revival group: SA Bushfire Garden Revival. If you're interested in growing for gardens, you can join their Facebook group.